What the heck is “Brandt Oil?”

What's the "miracle fuel" being pitched by Casey's Dave Forest?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, August 13, 2018

Lots of folks have been asking about Dave Forest’s ad for Brandt Oil, which is apparently in every email inbox in the land this week… the ad is for Casey’s International Speculator, which is apparently helmed by Forest now, and for which they’d like to receive $1,995 from you for a year’s subscription (no refunds, as seems to be the case with most of the “premium priced” letters these days).

It’s the ultimate in foolishness to spend $2,000 to learn about a hot stock tip, of course — that predisposes you to actually believe the hype in the ad, and you’re committing to a long-term advisory service on the basis of one over-inflated idea. So go ahead and subscribe to Forest’s letter if that’s the kind of thing you like, and if your portfolio’s big enough to justify a $2,000 annual payment to get advice on one small portion of that portfolio (assuming, of course, that you only allocate a small part of your portfolio to speculative natural resources stocks)… but let us dig into the ad for you first, explain what this “Brandt Oil” is, and get you the name of the stock. That way, at least, you can think for yourself a bit.

Here’s a bit of the ad that entices us:

“Trump’s Executive Order Unleashes Nationwide Hunt for “Brandt Oil”

“New oil grade—set to replace Brent Crude—has already shown investors returns of 3,750%, 1,600%, 4,628% and 2,343%

“An estimated $1.03 billion reserve of this new fuel is the first and only U.S. deposit with near-term production… and 100% owned by a tiny $2 company.”

This argument is all built on an executive order that President Trump apparently signed over the winter…

“President Trump quietly signed what may go down in the financial books as his most significant executive order.

“It states that within 180 days (which started on February 16th, 2018), the Department of the Interior… along with the U.S. Geological Survey…

“Must submit to the White House, a plan to improve the most advanced topographic, geologic, and geophysical data for the entire United States (excluding only national security locations like Area 51, military bases etc).

“The ultimate goal…?

“To identify and unlock over 1 million tons of a new “super-fuel” and other mineral resources on U.S. soil.”

That’s true, though a plan to improve the US understanding of a bunch of strategic minerals is not exactly a new thing — the government has gone through waves of caring deeply about this kind of stuff before, from uranium and rare earth minerals to regular old crude oil, and while the current interior department is more likely to spend money on helping these resources to get identified, and perhaps less likely to be an impediment to mining operations in environmentally sensitive areas, this does not necessarily mean that we’ll be bulldozing all the national parks to find more “Brandt Oil” starting on August 18. Here’s the Federal Register notice about that Executive Order, by the way, if you’d like to see the plain info.

More from the ad:

“America could soon switch to a new, more advanced higher grade of fuel.

“We call it “Brandt Oil,” and it’s quickly becoming the new standard for fuel.

“And while “Brandt Oil” is NOT a hydrocarbon or a direct fuel source like gasoline or coal, it can help power everything we use—cars, homes, buildings and machinery…

“…Without any form of pollution, global warming emissions or noise. Plus, it creates no spilling hazards.”

Sounds miraculous, eh? A miracle fuel that doesn’t pollute? Whatever could it be?

(Yes, I hear you sniggering in the back of the room… cut it out! Please wait for the rest of the class to catch up.)

It gets even more science-fiction-y as we go…

“Less than the equivalent of two gallons’ worth of “Brandt Oil” contains enough raw energy to power your house for 9 years.

“Based on advancing technology, a single barrel’s worth could soon be capable of unleashing more than enough energy to power 20,000 homes for a decade.”

And more…

“The Department of Energy already ponied up $68 million in federal funding to enhance ‘Brandt Oil’ applications across the country.

“At the state level, governors from Colorado, Utah, New York, California, Nevada and Wyoming are collaborating with one goal in mind…

“To install ‘Brandt Oil’ service stations along 5,000 miles of interstate highways, reports the Denver Post.

That Denver Post article is here, if you’re curious… and the ad also quotes several other articles… one of them about Shell buying a “brandt oil” company, which make it clear that yes, this is all about electric car charging stations.

So if electric car charging stations are a key “Brandt Oil” application, what the heck is “Brandt Oil” itself?

Apparently it’s exciting enough that Saudi Arabia is also getting on board…

“It’s only a matter of time before Saudi Aramco—the state’s national oil company—begins to embrace the shift as well…

“So where does that leave OPEC?

“Nowhere!

“OPEC countries don’t own a single drop of this new super fuel. This cartel is set to face total isolation in a “Brandt Oil” world.”

Huh? What’s the story here? What are they actually talking about?

I’ll give you a hint… a Swedish chemist named George Brandt was the first person to discover and isolate cobalt… almost 300 years ago, way back when it was still controversial that he had given up on alchemy and the dream of turning stuff into gold.

So yes, “Brandt Oil” must be cobalt… a relatively rare metal that is used, among other things, as a cathode in lithium-ion batteries, mostly to make them safer (controlling oxygen production, which is a fire hazard) and more durable while degrading relatively slowly.

There are lots of different battery chemistries, and plenty of materials science work is being done to make it possible to use something other than cobalt (or to use less cobalt) in vehicle batteries, but breakthroughs appear to be fairly slow in this space. If you want a fairly plain-language explanation of why cobalt is important in a lithium ion battery, I found this one pretty useful.

Batteries are not fuel, of course — they’re a storage mechanism. I guess you could say that gasoline is a storage mechanism, too, in that the potential energy is stored underground in hydrocarbons and is released when those hydrocarbons are burned in a combustion engine, but in practice it’s a consumable fuel. Batteries still need to be fed with energy, so there’s still also some energy production that needs to take place along with this “Brandt Oil”, even beyond the energy consumed in mining the lithium and cobalt and graphite and building the batteries… it might come from windmills, I suppose, or from nuclear power plants or solar panels, but most if it still comes from burning coal or natural gas.

But anyway, we know that — Cobalt is not a miracle fuel, but it is an essential component in modern rechargeable batteries, and (arguably) will remain so for a long time… and it’s in relatively short supply. Most cobalt comes from nickel and copper mines, so if nickel or copper see low prices the production of cobalt also slumps, and almost 2/3 of the current global cobalt supply comes from one of the countries that most multinational companies don’t particularly want to be associated with, at least in the public eye: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

So that’s the situation, just to catch you up — most electric vehicle forecasters believe that we need a much larger supply of cobalt than is currently being mined, and a lot of production comes from a place that brings to mind the “conflict diamonds” of Angola a decade or two ago.

Let’s get back to the ad and see how it is we’re supposed to get rich from this “Brandt Oil” ….

“… while we have an estimated 1 million-tonne reserve of this raw super fuel in the U.S., most Americans have no idea it exists.

“How come?

“It’s been nearly half a century since we last made any attempts to drill for ‘Brandt Oil.’

“Today, as we make the switch to ‘Brandt Oil’, the U.S. must import its supplies for now…about 12,000 tons a year…

“…Most of it comes from deposits in China, Africa, Russia and Norway, according to a report from the MIT Review.”

That MIT Review article was from 2011, by the way — not long after the previous price surge for the metal… so sometimes the timing of these things is not quite so precise as newsletter storytellers would have us believe. Forecasts for electric car demand (and cobalt demand) are not gospel, they’re guesses based on a variety of variables… but you know that, let’s get back to the ad…

Ready for another crazy promise? Here you go:

“As you’ve seen, President Trump’s executive order is deadline-specific (180 days). Geologists are moving in to put a “Big Fat X” on our reserve maps to begin drilling ASAP.

“Two things will happen…

“One, this presidential move will grant America clean-energy independence…

“Two, early investors who get in on the right side of this energy shift will become the new oil barons.”

We also get some of the “you need to get in with the smart money” talk about billionaires buying Brandt Oil…

“Billionaire Richard Branson announced his intention to put millions into cars powered by “Brandt Oil” technology.

“Another billionaire, George Soros, recently saw his investment firm dump $35 million into a “Brandt Oil” related ve”nture.

“But that’s nothing compared to Russian billionaire Vladimir Iorich, who plowed $150 million into “Brandt Oil” and other related resources

“Some are even cashing in…

“Warren Buffett’s investment firm parlayed a $230 million stake into $1.6 billion from one “Brandt Oil” related investment.

“Wall Street billionaire, Ron Baron, who has over $27 billion under management recently boasted on CNBC, “We’re going to make 20 times our money because the opportunity is so enormous.”

You can see the whole ad here if you like, I’ve left out some of the story in the interest of brevity (the ad transcript, printed out, is 36 pages long — even in the age of Twitter, long stories apparently work well for salesmen).

And he mentions a few little miners that surged during the initial price spike in cobalt into 2017, like Katanga Mining, so that gives us some indication of where he’s headed… I’m betting we’re about to be teased about a little cobalt miner or explorer.

No takers on that bet? OK, more clues…

“I’ve found a potentially very lucrative way for you to get rich from the full roll out of “Brandt Oil”…

“One Tiny Company Controls America’s

“Only ‘Brandt Oil’ Deposit

“Trump’s mandate has explorers searching North America for more deposits… but they have one for now… and it’s in the hands of this tiny resource company…

“This company is so incredibly small, if it grew 500-fold, it still wouldn’t be half the size of Exxon.

“And get this: it’s sitting on a deposit that’s potentially worth 7-times the value of the entire company (as measured by the stock market)….

“…this company’s find is a real bonanza. It has come at the perfect time, and it’s in a sweet spot to basically “name its price” for its ‘Brandt Oil.’

“It’s like pulling winning lottery tickets out of the ground…

“That’s why it’s critical you grab a stake while you can still get in under $2 a share….

“… market cap around $180 million….”

OK, so, umm… I win the bet, and we know who this is. There is only one US cobalt mine being built right now, and it’s been teased by pretty much all the resource newsletters at one point or another, so I guess it’s time for Dave Forest and the Casey folks to get on board. This is… eCobalt Solutions (ECS.TO in Canada, ECSIF OTC in the US).

What else are we told about this company? It can produce what seems like a lot, and it will be producing soon…

“The value of this deposit at $1.03 billion alone is quite telling…

“Bearing 28.8 million pounds (13,063 tons) of raw ‘Brandt Oil’, this company could supply the market with 2.4 million pounds of this fuel every year for 12 years.

“That’s enough raw energy to power every major U.S. city for over a decade.”

Cobalt is not, of course, “raw energy.” It doesn’t power anything by itself. It’s important, and the price has risen dramatically, but this is not a miracle that you’re pulling out of the ground to supply power for every major city and create a global utopia. At least, not by itself, and not very quickly.

And, of course, the value of cobalt in the ground is far different than the value of cobalt that has been dug up and refined. That $1 billion “value” is basically saying each pound of underground cobalt they’ve identified is worth about $35… which is close to the recent price of cobalt (it’s around $28/lb right now, it got a bit above $40 at the recent peak — and above $50 the last time it peaked, a decade ago).

So what’s the story with eCobalt Solutions? It was indeed a $2 stock not long ago… and I owned it a while back as well… but like the other relatively high-profile, near-term, non-Congolese cobalt miner Clean TeQ (which I currently own), its stock price has been going just about straight down this year as cobalt price hype drifted into Elon Musk’s “maybe we’ll be able to stop using cobalt entirely” talk earlier this year, and as the dreams of huge deposits were replaced with the cold reality of having to finance and build a mine, which is always (OK, 95% of the time) more expensive than planned and takes longer than expected.

The story of an exciting mining stock that might supply a scarce resource is often far more alluring than the reality of building one of these nasty, dirty, expensive and complicated projects.

But still, the promise remains and we remain perennially tempted — what other industry can take an ordinary looking plot of land and turn it into riches? And the demand remains strong, and the story for near-term cobalt miners seems like it’s mostly still intact — battery makers are trying to use less and less cobalt, but they don’t seem able to get rid of it entirely in their designs, at least not for situations like electric vehicles where safety (and not exploding) is a huge concern, and the majority of cobalt, both in production and potentially available, still sits in the DRC, being dug up in some cases by child labor and near-slaves, which the world goes through cycles of abhorring.

So what’s going to happen? I have no idea, you’ll have to make your own judgement call on when these cobalt names have gotten cheap enough that you can tolerate the “it’s more expensive than we thought” reports, the delays in finalizing financing and off-take agreements, and the uncertainty over how long this price spike in cobalt will last… or whether it will take off higher again. If you want more of the optimistic take on this, you need go no further than eCobalt’s latest investor presentation.

I’ve been quite wrong about the timing of cobalt investments, since I still own Clean TeQ shares, but I do still think the big picture indicates that new cobalt producers in the next few years should do well. I thought that when the prices of these stocks were twice the current levels, too, however, so take my assessment with a grain of salt.

And if you’d like to share your thoughts or disagree with me, by all means, let your words fly with a comment below. Thanks for reading!

P.S. Yes, Forest teased two other “Brandt Oil” Opportunities in his ad, too … I’m on a plane right now with a slow connection, so I’ll look into those for you next time around.


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56 Comments on "What the heck is “Brandt Oil?”"

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upham77
Irregular
14

Still wondering what stock Mampilly is teasing with his &10 bill? Seems like AMD from 4 of his hints! Location, price, CEO an MIT grad, and the companies it has contracts with! Will you be investigating this one?

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pair
Member
31

Bill Bonner seems to be hyping this “new energy” source as well.

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Peter
Guest
0

AMD?

CryptoInvestor
Irregular
107

It’s definitely AMD

Rick
Guest
0

For what it’s worth, my group got into AMD at 10, out at 20 for a double and now back in at 20 with a stop at 20.

Greg
Guest
0
It’s possible that by the time eCobalt Solutions has their mine up and running, cobalt won’t be in as much demand as now. John Goodenough and Maria Braga, among others, are working hard to produce a solid state battery. Goodenough, now 95, invented the lithium ion battery, so although his claims sound fantastic, I wouldn’t rule him out. His glass electrolyte (solid state) battery, which uses either sodium or lithium alkali metals in the cathode, does NOT require cobalt, has a fast charge time, high energy density and high temperature range. Because there is no flammable liquid electrolyte, it is… Read more »
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Hugh R.
Guest
0

Sodium based batteries are heavier and have less charging cycles. These facts alone make them inferior for auto use where weight and number of cycles are HUGE. They may be useful for storing energy for wind or solar farms where weight isn’t an issue. They are cheaper but weight and efficiency is everything when designing electric vehicles.

Lawrence Rayburn
Guest
0
“What the heck is Brandt Oil? Travis…..check out Hudspeth county, west Texas and the new ‘strike’ of Pennsylvanian oil in the stacked shale plays there of the Delaware Basin. They are now calling that small part of the Delaware Basin the Orogrande Basin. Anyway, they are using the money they are to be making from the production of Pennsylvanian oil there to fund a mining operation in the Diablo, Guadalupe, and another mountain range there. The interesting thing is that Jeff Bezos owns hundreds of thousands of acres there and launches his Blue Origin spacecraft…and recovers them….there about 30 miles… Read more »
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Wayne
Guest
0

Brandt Oil

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charlie1030
Irregular
22

I had both of these stocks earlier this year. What I made on CTEQF I lost on ECSIF.

lesdoyle
Irregular
14

Paul has been pushing AMD.

StockMidas
Irregular
246
Hi Travis So I have the choice to subscribe to Forest’s letter for $2000; or yours for $59 / annum (which I have just renewed after the first year) only to find out that from yours now (@ $59) advising against investing in ECSIF or later from Forrests’ (@ $2000) punting ECSIF that an investment in ECSIF would right now have been one of the silliest and most injudicious investments I made – please do tell me which route should I go? Asked and answered … On that score – on the “anniversary” of my subscription – I firmly believe… Read more »
TjBoston
Guest
0

…not to mention the astounding negative CMF and OBV on both those so-called stocks. Staying far away!

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wheelsup
Irregular
17

Couldn’t agree more, Gumshoe has saved me so much time reading some of these scammers’ long winded pitches. Based on the Gumshoe summary for 2016 – out of 197 breathless recommendations, 118 gained 0 to 100% while 79 lost 0 to -100% – might as well throw a dart.

saint stephen
Irregular
275

Stock gumshoe is the go-to read when it comes to pumped stocks.

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deanbob
Irregular
534

StockMidas – There is a LIFETIME subscription (with caveat!):

“Gumshoe Irregulars Platinum Membership $299 for Platinum membership (one-time payment)
Platinum Membership is Not Refundable
One-time payment provides membership in the Stock Gumshoe Irregulars for as long as this site and service exists.”

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StockMidas
Irregular
246

Thx deanbob, will certainly go that route when my current subscription expires.

4lllls
Member
19

Travis does have a lifetime membership for $300.00 I think.

N Bowie
Guest
0

I’m looking at a 2 yeasr weely chart and the 200 ma is at 0.67. If this is support, and bounce here is likely, and the timing could not be better from what I have read in the article. cheers

Vara La Fey
Member
4

“200 ma”? Is “ma” a market average or something?
I’m an absolute noob, but it looks like OTCMarkets.com is saying that ECSIF is currently at .50 and climbing, but their website indicates they only do cobalt and not nickel. Grrr!! If they did nickel and were at .50, I would soooo make a contrarian play. If that would even be contrarian under those conditions…. Anyway, I dry-run only at this point. 😐

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CryptoInvestor
Irregular
107

Moving average

steve garner
Guest
0

38 looks like support here as well as h and s projected low

Martin Bloom
Guest
0

I have to say that, if I had to have one investment news
Letter it would be yours. Definitely the best value around.

Colin in Kurrajong
Guest
0

I have several “rules” I follow and two of them are: 1. any pitch wanting to stop me from deleting a 10+ minute video and replacing it with dozens of pages of narrative, and 2. anything from Casey, go to the garbage can immediately.

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mypanama2
Irregular
8

Why do you think Casey is garbage?

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one2many
Irregular
31

Think the stock is still in one of Jason Stuttman’s portfolios at Angel Publishing. He does occasionally come up with sensible ideas too.
As regards eCobalt I think it has entered the speculative buy area once more. If Bill Bonner is writing about the company, it introduces a bunch of U.K. investors. If enough tipsheets get into the action a reasonable platform for profit taking should appear one day !

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Carbon Bigfoot
Guest
0

Putting everything in perspective about battery technology:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j0RDf4GMYY . View the whole video but @7.00 and @14.35 will provide the reality. Cobalt or not.

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dnovatchev
Member
0

Actually, a cobalt-free and liquid free battery prototype has been developed that reportedly “shows this battery potentially has double the energy density of the lithium-ion battery”.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-battery-pioneer-who-at-age-96-keeps-going-and-going-1533807001

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Carbon Bigfoot
Guest
0

As battery technology provides an EV about half mile per p0und of battery. And then it needs recharge and delays. So double that to a mile. ICEs provide about six miles per pound of fuel and with an increase of engine temperature about twelve miles per pound of fuel. THAT’S WHY JET PLANES OPERATE ON JET FUEL—AND ALWAYS WILL.
THIS IS KNOW LAUGHINGLY BY WE SCIENTISTS & ENGINEERS AS THE TESLA DERANGEMENT SYNDROME!!!
SORRY TO BUST YOUR BUBBLE.

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dunnydame
Member
885
#”Brandt Oil” & eCobalt This comment from my resident metallurgist and QP who was previously contracted by Formation Capital Corp to work on the metallurgy of the Idaho Cobalt Project: “Interestingly I looked into (Brandt Oil sales pitch) yesterday as there is only one cobalt reserve in the US in Idaho and the company I worked on (South African trip, etc.) was Formation Capital Corporation. It turns out Formation was bought lock, stock, and barrel by eCobalt. They have changed from a hydromet process to a roasting process, which is interesting as the main cobalt mineral is cobaltite, a cobalt… Read more »
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Da Rocket
Guest
0

Travis, you da Man!

odoctoro
Irregular
0

I purchased eCobalt, Clean Teq and First Cobalt Corp in anticipation that these stocks (or at least one of the three) will go up together with the demand for battery metals . While the companies that supply batteries for the EV market are surging, the resources are lagging behind; why is that?
Thank you

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Grace
Guest
0

Why not hydrogen powered batteries for motorized vehicles? Which companies are working on such batteries?

Carbon Bigfoot
Guest
0

Take a chemistry course. Hydrogen can power fuel cells but has containment and safety issues. Nat Gas and propane have been in service safely for years in commercial truck fleets. Unfortunately they don’t have the necessary torque to compete with diesel engines.
Technically what you suggest has NO practical value.
TESLA TRUCKS in this engineer’s view has limited capability and will never be adopted for over the road service.

Hugh R.
Guest
0
Correct. The idea of a Tesla truck is laughable because the Tesla car’s most important engineering feature is the balance between weight and battery capacity. An over the road truck’s mission is to CARRY WEIGHT in the form of cargo not minimize it. The other issue is the utter BS of EPA range numbers a left leaning EPA has given Tesla vehicles and the REAL world numbers third party types like Car and Driver give them. Hint: Car and Driver got 66% of claimed range on the highway simple driving at a cruise controlled 75mph.
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Grace
Guest
0

Hydrogen fueled motors are needed!

Hugh R.
Guest
0

No. Hydrogen is very nasty stuff. We have far safer and more efficient alternatives. BTW, how do you plan to produce that much hydrogen? Takes electricity to ionize water or Nat Gas into Hydrogen. That electricity would be better used simply charging an electric car. Better batteries are a far better idea than hydrogen. Running trucks on Nat Gas is way easier and we already have pipelines just about everywhere.

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4lllls
Member
19

What ever happened to that brown fuel that was supposed to be a real game changer? Years back but just remembered about it.

Vara La Fey
Member
4
I was sent the “Brandt Oil” email too, and figured it had to be related to newer batteries, especially including (but prolly not limited to) the electric car recharge stations. But I was convinced that “Brandt Oil” was nickel sulfide (NiS), which Musk and others are increasing their use of, and which apparently is a by-product from some of the same few nickel mines worldwide. Well, I was close. I’ve been studying the entire stock market type investing thing for maybe a whole week, inspired by Casey emails I’ve received for a year but never investigated. And yes, NiS miners… Read more »
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djkaushik
Member
0

Did you to listen to the latest report from Dave Forest (Casey Research) on 11/7/2018? He mentioned 2 stocks to buy before 12/1/2018 to make windfall. I am wondering what those gems are.

ECobalt peaked my interest last year, in Dave’s recent ad he mentioned ECobalt going to $20. I did my 1 min analysis on google finance, the stock never soared that high. Sounds questionable.

John LAY
Guest
0

I enjoyed your talk, it gave a lots of laughs Thanks. I hope to read more of this kind of work.

CryptoInvestor
Irregular
107

Travis, thanks for the link to 2017 Draft List of Critical Minerals Federal Register notice. I’m happy to see China isn’t the only one with such a list. Good info for a current research project I’m working on. No big surprises there but Silver was conspicuous in its absence.

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lawrence
Guest
0

there is a Canadian company with properties in Sweden and Norway. The are in past producing nickel/ cobalt areas. Name is Borealis, BMX on the Toronto Venture.They do little promotion and i am only a shareholder. It is bid .12 cents

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Bill Ellern
Guest
0
I just found you. My email was loaded with a couple never-ending, get rich audio adverts, and I was looking around to check for validity. I found this site, and this discussion of batteries and capability. Facinating, but you need to look further. Your tech is old, as of 2 months ago. (Not a serious criticism.) Please look at http://www.techbriefs.com, July 2018, page 8 “3D Battery charges in Seconds”. They discuss an intertwined anode/cathode cell with a self assembling 3D gyroidal structure with thousands of nanoscale pores that provides orders of magnitude higher power density. Think “a 9 Volt battery… Read more »
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Bill Ellern
Guest
0

Found the basic press release at http://www.emc2.cornell.edu/news/story/self-assembling-3d-battery-would-charge-in-seconds.html Do I understand it completely? No. Large amounts of information are missing as to how it is created, and what is needed to scale it up to megawatt size, but three features are stunning. Self-organizing, power/gram storage capacity and very high charge rate.

Leroy Williams
Guest
0

Thanks for the great heads up on their long and drawn out AD. I try to read with great understanding, when it comes to me parting with MY hard earned money. Note: when it is long, the AD, look out.

Mapex
Guest
0

Does eCobalt pay dividends ?!

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Richard A Chengerian
Guest
0

I REALLY APPRECIATE your frank and truthful description!!! I always laugh when some one who claims to be a “wealthy” and knowledgeable ‘CHAMPION OF THE MIDDLE CLASS” thinks we are so F_______ stupid to believe and pay for his bull-shit!!! PS; my background is in behavioral psychology.

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Richard
Guest
0

I liken the Casey group to the road side carnival of days gone by… see the three legged man for only $.50 or see the cyclops… hurry this will be last chance to see …. only 75 cents